Heart Rate Training

Heart Rate Monitor Training: The Basics

If you’re anything like me, packing 25 hours into one day is standard practice. I’m the type of person that wants to do it all – in the shortest amount of time – and get the most bang for my proverbial buck. Especially in the gym. Using a heart rate monitor during exercise is a great way to keep tabs on the intensity of your workout by receiving direct feedback from your body. Heart rate monitors, while small, can be intimidating devices. However, once understood, workouts (and your bod) will definitely change for the better.

The first step is to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR). Northwestern Medicine developed this accurate formula for healthy women: subtract 88% of your current age from 206. For example, if you are 30 years old:

30(.88) = 26.4
206-26.4 = 179.6 ~ 180

Your maximum heart rate 180 beats per minute. Got it?

Breakin’ it Down:

Workouts can be tailored using the zones below to reach any fitness goal from losing weight, to improving endurance.

HRM Zones

Do this 3 mile workout outside or on the treadmill to get your heart pumping.

 Warm up with a 5 minute jog

1 Mile – Zone 1
You should not be able to hold a conversation at this point

.5 mile – Zone 1

1 mile – Zone 4
Start pushing it your comfort zone. Literally.

.5 mile – Zone 2

.25 mile – Zone 5
Reach. Your. Max.

.25 mile – Zone 1
Cool down

So that’s HRM Training 101. Now you know how to use one, but which one will get the job done? My picks are from Nike, Garmin and Polar.

Heart Rate Monitors

Do you need a heart rate monitor in order to work up an effective sweat? No. But for the tech savvy gal looking to take her workouts to the next level, it is definitely something to consider.

Image via: Women’s Running


  1. you demystified this for me. amazing. xoxoxox

  2. Love this post! I definitely need to get a HRM for my workouts. Thanks for the suggestions – might have to go with that Nike one. 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *